WHY I AM NOT A COMMUNIST
LIKE MANY OTHERS who are not Communists, I hold no brief for the injustices and stupidities of the present capitalist regime. Indeed, I have never ceased to be grateful for the illumination on historic and contemporary social issues which I found in studying Marx Das Kapital. It prepared me to see that the present general breakdown of capitalist economy is not an unforeseeable accident but a consequence of the private ownership of the machinery of production, whereby the processes of industry are directed for the profit of individual capitalists rather than for the satisfaction of our common needs. The old optimistic but essentially anarchistic notion that the good of all will best be promoted by "rugged individualism," by each pursuing his own selfish economic gain, is a cruel superstition which no man possessed of both reason and a decent amount of human sympathy can maintain in the face of the hideous miseries of our present disorder. When good crops turn out to be calamitous to the farmers who toil to raise them, because the city workers cannot with their needed labor buy the cereals and cotton which they need for food and clothing, the bankruptcy of capitalism is as clear as anything in human affairs can be.
But while the foregoing or essentially similar criticism of the evils of capitalism is largely used by Communists, it is not peculiar to them. They share it not only with other Marxian socialists--whom, with self-defeating unfairness, they character-____________________